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Apartments going up at Courthouse Village

W.J. Vakos Cos. has broken ground on the newest phase of its Spotsylvania Courthouse Village project: a 66-unit apartment complex called Merchants Square.

The apartments, located in the village bordering Brock Road, are the first project in the complex to break ground in years, after an inhospitable housing market put plans for the village on hold for W.J. Vakos.

Merchants Square is expected to be available for rent in early 2015. It will feature 36 single-bedroom and 30 two-bedroom apartments averaging just over 1,000 square feet in each unit.

Chris Waller, a senior vice president with W.J. Vakos, called the complex “garden apartments with an urban feel.”

Each apartment will have a screened-in porch, but the buildings will sit against a sidewalk.

Pre-leasing for the apartments will begin late this year through Arista Management Group.

It’s not the only significant building project in the works for the village, though. The next phase will be five retail buildings, ranging from 1,000 to 7,000 square feet, to be delivered later in 2015.

Waller said the company envisions two or three sit-down restaurants for that section of the project.

The third phase is a five-story mixed-use building, with four floors of apartments over retail space.

In the future, Waller said the company hopes to develop a subdivision of single-family homes adjacent to the village, as well.

The Spotsylvania-based developer envisions that Courthouse Village could eventually include 500,000 square feet of office, retail and civic uses, as well as 1,500 residential units including town houses, apartments, condos and single-family homes.

Courthouse Village is located near the county’s government center and courthouse complex, and is part of an effort to create a walkable, town-like feel.

To make all that a reality, the developer is also reworking Old Battlefield Boulevard, which leads into the complex from Courthouse Road.

To ease traffic flow, a roundabout is being added. That road project will be completed in September.

In 2011, W.J. Vakos sold Spotsylvania County the three-story, 54,810-square-foot office building at Courthouse Village for $10 million. Spotsylvania had been leasing space there for its planning, zoning and social services departments.

The two other buildings currently standing in the complex, home to Chef Nancy’s Butternut & Blue Bistro & Bakery, the Harvest Market and Allstate, are also mixed use and its 26 apartments are close to full occupancy.

Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976